Helping someone with mortgage problems
When you want to help
Some people will turn to family or friends for advice and
assistance when they are under financial pressure and need help.
The most important thing you can do is to be calm, positive and
Here are some simple ways you can help a family member or friend
with their mortgage problems.
Signs someone might need your
Even if your friend or family member has not asked for your
help, you may be able to assist them anyway.
Here are some signs that they could be struggling with their
mortgage and may need your help:
- They dramatically reduce their spending
- They struggle to pay their bills on time
- They use their credit card to pay bills, increase their credit
limit or apply for more credit cards
- They worry about a potential interest rate rise
- They look for a second job
- They downsize their home or sell their car to get some spare
- They ask if they can borrow some money
If you notice your friend or family member is becoming anxious
or depressed, encourage them to see a doctor or get help from
support services. For free and confidential telephone counselling
and emotional support contact Lifeline or Beyond
Give support not
If someone is in financial difficulty, it is important that they
do not feel they are being judged. Most people will experience
financial problems at some stage in their lives. Lecturing them
about what they could have or should have done might make them
avoid their financial problems.
Work with them to look at what practical steps they can take to
fix their financial issues.
Help them to create a
Encourage them to use our budget planner to create a
budget. If they monitor their spending they will more easily
be able to keep up with their mortgage repayments.
For more tips see how to do a budget.
Get them to talk to their
The best thing you can do for someone struggling with their
mortgage is to encourage them to talk to their lender. Their
lender must assess and respond to their request. The sooner
they speak to their lender, the more options they will have.
If appropriate, and with their agreement, you could offer to
speak to the lender on their behalf to find out what options are
open to them. Their lender will tell you what form they would need
to sign to give you this authority.
What support you give beyond that depends on whether they are
struggling to keep up with their
mortgage, have missed a mortgage repayment
or are behind on their mortgage.
Encourage them to see a
Financial counsellors offer a free, confidential service to help
people sort out their money problems. They can help your friend or
family member to negotiate with their lender. See financial counselling for more
Should you lend them
Lending money to a family or friend can help them deal with
their immediate financial situation. But if their money issues are
long term, adding to their debt in this way may make their problems
They will owe money to the bank and to you, and may have no way
of paying you back. See loans involving family
If you can assist your family member or friend
deal with their mortgage problems you could help them avoid losing
their home. Start the conversation with them to see how you can aid
and support them along the path to financial recovery.
Last updated: 15 Jul 2015